Are you lonely? Confession: I am. Somehow, even with 7 billion other souls on the planet, it’s remarkably easy to feel alone. Maybe you’re away from home for the first winter, ever. Maybe you’re a mother – surrounded by little people but somehow still an island. Maybe you’ve entered a season of life where the house is quiet and you’re a little bit lost.
Maybe you’re even right next to someone who cares about you, but you still feel lonely. It’s not really about physical presence of others in these moments. Sometimes all we want is someone to really see us, to talk to us, to recognize our burdens and triumphs.
To remember us.
There was once a man, physically close to others – the entire city could see him, in fact. But he was alone, desperate to be remembered by just one of them.
“Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingdom.” Luke 23:42 (EHV)
We are certainly not in the kind of dire situation in which the criminal on the cross found himself – our daily struggles are not as dramatic as imminent death by crucifixion. Our days are filled with unfolded laundry, unanswered voicemails, un-ending To Do lists, disciplining children, disciple-ing ourselves. But certainly the Lord looks with equal love and mercy on us all, no matter what mire we’re drowning in.
At the heart of it we’re all the same. We feel inadequate and unworthy, judged and misunderstood. And rightly so as flawed and fallible humans living among other humans. But the Lord does not judge us for needing him.
And we are never alone in any of it. The Lord has invited us, specifically, to pray to him. To approach Him as our Father, and ask for anything we need. Perhaps we’ve grown too formal in our prayers, or too timid, or have forgotten that no problem is “too small.” It’s time to borrow a sentiment from the criminal’s very brief prayer life. No overthinking. When words fail us, and we feel like a 5-year-old alone on the side of the playground, we have the privilege of simple, profound prayer. We, too, get to cry out in our frustration and despair, “Jesus, remember me!”
And He will.
“I pray that you would be able to comprehend, along with all the saints, how wide and long and high and deep his love is…” Ephesians 3:18 (EHV)